Friday, December 26, 2014

The Book of Mormon IS the word of God

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Christmas is my very favorite holiday.  It is one that is filled with laughter, joy, peace and love.  If you live in a place like Utah it also brings you snow.  :)  Can you believe the snow did not arrive until Christmas day?!  Crazy right? 

Saturday was my very first 24 hour exchange.  I was with Sister Leavitt and Sister Palmer was with our district leader, Sister Garcia.  Sister Leavitt is from Nevada.  She such a sweet and nice friend.  One thing she taught me was to always introduce the Book of Mormon to the people we talk with.  She said that three things she always says to introduce herself is 1) her name, 2) who she is representing and 3) the Book of Mormon.
While we were at TC desk (South VC), we met two college age guys who were visiting Utah because one of them was checking out one of the medical programs at one of the schools.  They didn't know much about "Mormons."  (For privacy purposes I will use different names to tell the story).  Joe is the one applying to schools and Bob is the other guy not applying.  One thing we shared with them was what the Book of Mormon was.  I decided to give Joe a copy of the Book of Mormon.  Bob, who seemed to have a funny sense of humor, asked if we had a kids version of the Book of Mormon because there is no way he could ever read something like that.  We showed him that here are actually pictures in the front.  I turned to the picture of Lehi and his family on the ship.  I was about to share the story when Bob pointed to one of the kids in the picture and said "Look at this kid!  He's so ripped!"  Then he started laughing.  Sister Leavitt and I couldn't help it, we laughed too.  haha.  We eventually were able to talk about the story.  Some other sisters gave them a tour.  They ended up both taking their own copy of the Book of Mormon.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book ever written.  No matter what your beliefs are, if you ever have a concern or need some uplifiting, read the Book of Mormon.  If ever in your life you feel lonely, read this book and it will give you the peace you are never alone.  If you want your own copy go onto and ask the missionaries to have a copy delivered to your home.  The Book of Mormon is not just a book, it contains the words of God.  As you read it, I promise you you will feel of His personal love for you. 
Not very many people know this, but I am Filipino.  I was invited to the Filipino lunch on Saturday.  The food was delicious!  Before we ate, the other Filipino sisters sang some songs, all in Tagalog, of course. haha.  Other sisters walking past the room we were in had confused looks, because they didn't know I was Filipino and I wear an American flag on my tag.

Monday I got to go on a 24 hour exchange again!  This time it was with my awesome district leader Sister Garcia, from Spain.  We were in the TAB for our assignment and I met this man (I will call him Rob for privacy reasons as well).  Rob was not a member of the church and he had never been to Temple Square before.  He had been going through some rough things.  He was raised Catholic, but since then has just been a "non-practicing" Christian.  We talked for a while and I got to know more about his beliefs.  As we were talking, the thought came to my mind that he needed a Book of Mormon.  I waited for a while and kept talking.  He eventually said he wanted to have a look around the Tabernacle.  A few minutes later he asked me to take his picture.  I was ready to invite him to read The Book of Mormon.  Well, he kind of said "bye" and left too quickly.  By then our time was finished at the Tabernacle and as Sister Garcia and I were walking towards the North VC I told her about the experience and the impression I had.  Rob was actually by the North VC looking at the Nativity on the lawn.  We saw him make his way the opposite direction from us towards West Gate.  Sister Garcia told me that we needed to go after him and give him the Book of Mormon.  I was honestly surprised, but we went and found Rob near the Assembly Hall.  I had never really, I guess you could say, chased someone down before, but I knew Sister Garcia was right.  I told Rob I had the impression to give him a Book of Mormon.  I said he could read it when he felt ready, but I promised him the Book of Mormon would bring him peace, especially at this time in his life.  He accepted the copy.  I am very grateful to Sister Garcia for encouraging me to have faith in the promptings given to me by the Holy Ghost.  Sister Garcia taught me it is far more important to "fear God more than man." 

Monday evening I got to see the Guerreros! There is a whole long story of how they kind of surprised me, but I don't have time to share.  Basically they had their phones out taking pictutes of me talking with people.  They are so funny!  Love them!  It was fun to see Gabe and Lem and Shawna's new baby!  She is adorable!  I wish there was no rule saying that we can't hold babies :(  I understand the reasoning behind it though.

Christmas morning we woke up to snow!  Finally!  I was so excited! I, of course, got my camera out!  Sister Palmer and I had breakfast with out roommates, Siter Nakmatsu and Sister Atchu.  So fun!  After opening our gifts we went to another Filipino lunch/ song practice for the Christmas program.
Since I am part Filipino, I was asked to sing "What Child is This" with  the Filipino sisters in the program.  I wish I had more time to write about the beautiful and spiritual program that was put together.  At the end, President Poulsen began reciting "The Living Christ" and one by one sisters stood up reciting one paragraph at a time.I also got to call home which was so special.

I love you all!
Sister Mikeila Aquino

Christmas Morning

Thursday, December 18, 2014

He Hears and Answers Every Prayer

This past week has gone by so fast!  I feel as though I just had P-day not too long ago!
Sunday I got the chance to announce!  Every Sunday after "Music and the Spoken Word" Temple Square sisters get to recite a little paragraph, in their native language, inviting people to take tours with them.  I, of course, only speak English, so recited it in English.  It actually started snowing on us while we announced.  As freeeeezing as I was, I had so much fun seeing the snow!  Unfortunately, once again, the snow melted away, later on, but it lasted long enough to be in my pictures and that is all I care about.

Monday we were treated with delicious soup for dinner!  Six families got together and made soup and desserts for our mission.  Some young women also made rice and corn bags for each of us!  I got a corn bag of course, because that is what my mom made for us growing up.  I love it!
Ahhh, there's nothing like a warm corn bag!
So we got a referral from another sister missionary and this man is from Liberia, where missionaries for the church cannot serve.  Tuesday we called him and he was very nice, but it was difficult to understand him because of the fuzzy phone connection.  In the middle of the conversation the phone disconnected so we tried calling again.  I said a silent prayer to Heavenly Father asking Him to help Sister Palmer and I be able to understand him.  I believe Heavenly Father blesses us with simple miracles everyday because when we continued the conversation we were able to understand him much better.  Some of you might think that your prayers are insignificant or unheard, but I testify to you that they are not.  God does hear every single one of us.  

Wednesday we had the wonderful opportunity to have Christmas dinner at a member's home, the Bowman family.  The Bowman's served in the Oakland California mission a few years ago and absolutely loved it!  They shared some wonderful experiences they had with us.   Sister Bowman made what she called, "a snowball".  It tasted like a chicken roll.  We had salad and broccoli with it.  For dessert we had strawberry ice cream (my favorite flavor!) with different cookies.  After dinner we sat in the living room and sang Christmas hymns while Sister Bowman played the piano and Sister Garcia played the violin.  The Bowmans have such a strong and special spirit in their home.  I felt like I was at home because my family always stands around my mom while she plays the piano and sing.  Sister Bowman gave each of us a miniature Christmas tree.  I cried with so much gratitude and humbled heart.  This will be my very first Christmas away from home, but Heavenly Father really does take care of His missionaries.
Christmas dinner with the Bowmans
Our very own Christmas trees
I have felt the love of my Savior so much this week!  Serving a mission has shown me my weaknesses, but it is through the Savior that I can make "weak things become strong".  I am learning to persevere through trials and hardships because I know that the Savior will always be there to uplift me as long as I obey Him.  I love my family.  The temple is where families can be united for eternity.  I pray and hope that all families will have that sacred opportunity one day.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

I love you all!  Have a Merry Christmas and share the love of Christ with all!

Love, Sister Mikeila Aquino

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I Shared the Book of Mormon with a Panda

I cannot believe I am done with my first transfer here at Temple Square!  Crazy how fast time goes by!  I have learned so much from my companion, the other sisters, President and Sister Poulsen, various people I meet on the Square and so many more!  I really have been blessed to be here on Temple Square at this time.

Thursday evening, one of the local church stake Relief Societies, brought us cookies and made individual Christmas goodie bags for us sisters.  We sang "Called to Serve' (Temple Square version) to them and then sang "Silent Night" with them.  Everyone in the room had a smile on their face and I could just feel the love and happiness from the Spirit.  I am very grateful to those sisters that took the time to bring us these gifts, because it definitely brightened my day.

Saturday I took my very first hospitality tour!  A hospitality tour is when a large group reserves for a tour on Temple Square and more than one companionship takes them around Temple Square.  I was nervous at first because I have a really soft voice and the microphones we had weren't working, but then we found working ones.  I had a lot of fun.  I had the opportunity to share my testimony of the Temple.  The Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build and it still stands to day.  Just like the foundation of the temple is solid, our faith in Jesus Christ must be also.  I love the scripture Heleman 5:12 of the Book of Mormon, which says, And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. 

Sunday evening I had the opportunity to go to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional!  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a remarkable sight!  I loved all of the talks given.  I really enjoyed the one given by Richard J. Maynes.  He shared that because of the obedience of Mary and Joseph and Jesus, each of us have the opportunity to have eternal life.  Each of their role's leading up to the birth of the Savior was vital to our salvation.  Mary, Joseph and Jesus are remarkable people.  It is because of them I have the opportunity to be with my family for eternity!

​So you probably read the title and said "What?"  I don't blame you.  Monday I gave a Book of Mormon to a Panda!  I was at MAP desk (in the North VC) and a guy with a camera comes walking in with someone dressed up in a Panda costume.  They walked over to the Jerusalem model.  I looked at Sister Palmer with a confused face.  She started calling security.  The is nothing wrong with dressing up in a costume, but walking on a place like Temple Square, probably is not the best place to do something like that.  I decided to go over and talk with them.  On the Panda's head an chest is said "".  I asked what the company was for.  The guy with the camera told me they were taking a cross country road trip giving socks to the homeless.  Not sure why this next statement he made was important, but he said they knew the mayor of Provo very well.  They then asked what there was to see around here on Temple Square.  I told them about the different buildings and various things to see in the visitor centers.  They left and walked up to the Christus, taking pictures of the panda.  Then security came in and politely asked them to leave.  I didn't know, but costumes are not allowed on Temple Square.  Temple Square is such a sacred and peaceful place, having someone dressed up in a costume could be distracting.  It was funny though and random.

Wednesday was transfer day!  Early in the morning, we drove a sister to the airport to go back home.  She was form Italy.  The whole day was so strange and I honestly did not like seeing sisters go.  I was really sad to have to say good bye to my district leader, Sister Yang and her companion, Sister Liao.  A lot of sisters also went outbound. :(  Goodbyes are so hard, but I will always remember that wonderful memories I had with these sisters.

My First Transfer District with our Zone Leades
Wednesday evening, we were stationed at EF( Eternal Families; South VC) desk.  Three guys came walking in and I said "hello".  I asked some questions about their evening and how they were enjoying temple Square.  They were enjoying it.  They were Young Men's leaders for their ward and they brought the youth to Temple Square.  After we talked a little I gave them a challenge.  I said "Jesus Christ is a gift to all of us and He has given us so much.  If you were at the birth of our Savior, what gift would you give to Him?"  I then asked them to give the same challenge to their youth and to the discuss their answers with them.  They accepted the challenge.  Well later on in the evening some youth went up to Sister Palmer and asked if she was from California, the Bay Area.  She said no.  I over heard and told them I was.  They came over to me and said "Either you have a question for us or we have a question to ask you, we aren't sure which one."  My response was "What?  I'm confused."  All three of them laughed.  They told me their bishop had talked with me earlier and I asked the a question.  My mind was still blank.  Then, finally I remembered I had talked with their leaders earlier. hahaha.  I was surprised, but happy the leaders had sent their youth my way.  So I asked them the same question and they all agreed to think about it.  Well, by now I am sure you have figured out that I am all about giving out challenges, so my challenge to for this week is to watch the He is the gift video and ask yourself "If I were present at the birth of Christ, my Savior, what gift would I give Him?" 

I believe in a perfect Savior.  I am grateful to Joseph and Mary for their sacrifice and obedience to God and bringing Christ to this earth to save us all.  I am grateful for all of the natural beauty that is all around me.  It is a wonderful reminder of how peaceful and simple the gospel of Jesus Christ is.  I will never be able to repay the sacrifices Christ made for me, but I can love and serve everyone around me, just like Christ did while He was here on the earth.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

"The "Light" of Christ

I cannot believe that this is my last week of my first transfer!  I seriously feel like I was just in the MTC! 

Friday night was the first night the Christmas lights went on!  I was really excited!  The Square was filled with people, joy, peace and the Spirit!  It was pretty chaotic.  It took Sister Palmer and I 10-15 minutes to get from one side of the Square to the other side. 
Saturday was just as busy and crazy as Friday.  Seeing so many kids running around was "heaven" for me.  I loved seeing all of the families coming in and out of the visitor centers.  This year Temple Square created something new for Christmas called "Sing and Smile".  It is basically caroling, just a fancier term for it.  My district did it together.  I loved it!  Singing not only brought peace to my heart, but it also brought peace to the people passing by us.  There were tons and tons of people trying to get in and out of the gates and there was so much traffic and noise.  But when we started singing the atmosphere changed.  Instead of trying to rush by us, people would stop to listen and others would join in and sing.  Children would smile and wave at us.  Parents stopped their children, hugged them and smiled as they listened.  I wish everyone had the opportunity to see this.  It was incredible to see how God brought His children together, to take time to remember His son, Jesus Christ, to remember His birth and resurrection.  As I was singing I could feel the warmth the Savior and Heavenly Father had for these people.  What a blessing it was for me to experience that.
Monday evening we were walking by the reflection pool in front of the temple and a couple of guys stopped us.  One guy pointed to his friend telling us his friend was not a member of the Church so if we could tell him in 30 seconds why he should join the church what would we say?.  Sister Palmer said she could say it in two words, "Greater Happiness".  Then they turned to me.  At first I said "what my companion said" and smiled.  I felt a little nervous and under pressure, but I calmed myself down and said "Because the Savior loves you."  They were both happy with our answers.  They then asked us if there was any significance to some of the Christmas lights being red.  I told him there is no significance to the lights being red, but all of the lights do symbolize something.  The lights here on Temple Square represent the "light" of Christ.  We are blessed to see and feel His presence here.  I continued saying that unfortunately we cannot always see these lights, but if we look for it each day we CAN see Christ's light throughout our day.  I then challenged him to start that evening by looking for the "light" of Christ each day.  He said he would.  I want to give all of you this same challenge.  Throughout your day look for that "light" of Christ at work, school, in your homes, on our jog,etc and write down what you observed at the end of the day.  Then express your feelings for the Savior and why you were grateful to Him that day.  I hope you will all take this challenge because I promise you your day will go much smoother and less stressful.
Today the General Relief Society Presidency of the church spoke to us for Relief Society.  Sister Linda Reeves gave the talk.  She talked about the importance of Relief Society and the incredible role we as women have to serving the world.  She gave a wonderful talk and shared some inspiring stories from a book called "Daughters of my Kingdom."  I got to hug them and talk briefly with them.  They radiate the spirit of our Savior and I was very blessed to meet them.
For lunch we went to Leatherby's with our roommates.  Sister Depablos and I shared this huge ice cream!  We were able to take the rest home. :)

I got to see Aunty Patty today!  We were on our way to Harmons and she was coming down the escalator as we were going up!
I have a strong belief in my Savior.  He lives.  I love this gospel.  I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father knows me personally.  Whether storms or sun come my way I know I am watched over by Him.  I love this gospel I say these things int he name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.
Sister Mikeila Aquino

Friday, November 28, 2014

Christ IS the gift

Monday I got to eat at the Lion House for free  because I passed off giving a tour. 

Each week our zone has a theme we are to focus on and study about.  Last weeks was "How we view ourselves and others."  Interestingly enough this really stuck out to me.  For whatever reason I became very self conscious of myself.  I began to worry what the other sisters thought of me.  I was also losing confidence in my teaching.  Friday evening we were at EF (Eternal Families) desk and a lady was sitting on the couch watching the mormon messages.  She had been there for a while so I eventually decided to go and talk with her.  She was an RM (Returned Missionary) as of a few weeks ago.  We were talking a little bit about her mission, and her family.  Then out of nowhere she said something that she tells every new missionary. "You know enough.  Never think that the older missionaries know more than you.  Their experiences will always be different.  God called you here because he needed you here.  No one else can do what you do.  You were set apart and you know enough.  Trust Him because He trusts you."  I became teary eyed.  I needed to hear that.  She didn't know me, she didn't know my fears and needs and yet she was able to make that statement as if she did know me and my struggles that week.  The power of God never fails.  This experience is one of the many that has taught me that my Heavenly Father knows each of His children personally and will send angels to guide, comfort and protect us. 

On our way home Friday evening I saw my friend Alexa from BYU Hawaii!  She was in her car and when she saw me she quickly changed lanes and came out to see me.  I was so happy to see her!  That totally made my evening!
Saturday it rained pretty hard.  I really do NOT like walking in the rain unless I am in Hawaii.  especially do not like being in the rain wearing a skirt.  Not only can a mission change you, it is also meant to help you like things you usually don't.  I haven't appreciated the rain yet...
Tuesday we sisters got training for the new church video "He is the Gift".   Watch this video! (you can click on the link here...  He Is the Gift
It is very moving and peaceful.  The church bought the front page space on youtube for December with this video on there.  In New York the church bought billboards!  In the Temple Square North Visitor Center they built in a T.V. on the wall that plays the "He is the Gift" video.  Also they covered the Old Testament paintings with the Nativity story.  Yes this video is huge!  I am so excited!  

Tuesday evening I was at EF desk again and to my surprise guess who came walking in?  Bishop Garrett and Adam.  It was nice to see them and chat with them for a little bit.  I didn't have a camera, but Bishop got a picture of us on his phone. 
Hi Bishop Garrett!

Wednesday Sister Palmer and I (along with other TS sisters with Hawaii connections) were invited to eat at a missionary couple's home, the Serraos  They know Tutu and Aunty Val very well.  We ate local food; spam, Portuguese sausage, crab egg, musubi, POG.  So delicious!  I have left overs :)
No sign of snow yet! I feel like I am in California.  It is so weird!  How am I supposed to make my Christmas card if there is no snow!  Hopefully it will come sooner than later.  It did snow a little bit on Sunday and I got super excited!  I took a picture in it!
so excited for this little teaser of snow

Today the Christmas lights will be going on.  I cannot wait! 
Temple Christmas lights testing in the morning

I love this gospel.  I love that our relationship with the Savior is personal.  Christ's gift IS a gift to us all.  I love my Savior and the peace He brings into my life.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Sister Aquino

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Savior of the World"

There is still no sign of snow!  It is a little warmer, but I am ready for the snow. haha.

Friday we gave a tour to three ladies who were all friends and visiting.  We began our tour introducing ourselves, getting to know them and briefly explaining what the tour would consist and our purpose as missionaries.  We were about to start when one of them asked what the difference between the Book of Mormon and the Bible were.  We somewhat paused for a few seconds and out of nowhere I simply explained the Restoration the Gospel.  I could not believe it!  The spirit had directed me to do so and when I opened my mouth I taught the whole first lesson!  I was so grateful to the Spirit for giving me the confidence to do so.  I usually feel comfortable teaching about the Restoration, but I don't think I have ever taught it as efficiently and simple as I did that day. 

Sunday I was sitting in Guest Services and Sister Palmer got a call.  I then heard her say she would transfer them over to me.  I was a little surprised.  I answered said my line "Welcome to Temple Square Services this is Sister Aquino"  "Hi this is Erin."  Awww!!!!!  I was so excited!  We got other sisters to sit at the desk for a few minutes. We ran upstairs and I was just so happy.  It felt so nice to see a familiar face.  I had fun!
Surprise visit with the Parkes...Love you guys!

I spent most of Monday in the dentist office because Sister Palmer had to drive a sister so she could get a root canal.  We got another contact on chat who really wants to learn more about the church!  Yay!  In the Evening we got to take a  member family through "God's Plan."  They have six children as well and they made me realized how grateful I am for my family.  The Spirit was calm and powerful during that time.  It is difficult to explain the feeling of the Spirit at times but know this, Heavenly Father IS aware of every single family that exists.  He knows your family names and each individual member.  He knows your strengths and your weaknesses.  He knows the trials and hardships your family is going through.  He also knows how important an eternal family is.  That is why He provided the Savior to atone for us.  That is why he created temples so that our families could be sealed together for eternity.  The temple is the only way for us to be an eternal family.  I know this to be true. 
Tuesday evening we went to watch the LDS production "Savior of the World"  Oh my goodness if any of you are out here in Utah during Christmas I encourage you to come see this production!  It does not matter what faith or your belief in God is, I promise you it will bring joy into your life.  The production depicts Christ's birth and his resurrection. My testimony of Christ's humbled birth grew that evening.  I really admire the obedience to God of Mary and Joseph.  Once again the spirit touched me. 

With "Mary" from "Savior of the World"

Wednesday we had another Explore Day!  We went to the Humanitarian Center.  This church is incredible with all of the relief efforts and service they do through out the world.  It is really fascinating to see how efficient they are.  It really is their purpose that drives though, that is the Savior.
Humanitarian Center

Every new missionary has to pass off giving a tour to their zone leaders and I passed!  Yay!  Sister Palmer and I get to go eat at the "Lion House' for free!
I bare testimony Christ's birth is a precious gift to us all.  I love the joy and peace I feel her eon Temple Square. I know God loves everyone here in this earth. I know Christ is our one  perfect example who wants what is best for us. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.
Love, Sister Aquino

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christ Lives!

Little flakes of white are beginning to fall from the sky!  I know I am a beach girl, but I am so excited for the snow to come!  Did I just really say that?... The things a mission can do to you. :)  I love being here on Temple Square.  I would never change it for anything else, honestly.  A mission is very exciting, but also hard work.  I know I have just begun, but I have had such remarkable experiences, just this week, that have really strengthened my relationship with the Savior.

On Thursday November 6th, my class (all the sisters that came the same day as me) attended "The Living Christ Meeting" with President and Sister Poulsen.  The Living Christ is a document written by 12 apostles of the church, bearing testimony of the Savior.  We sisters were asked to read it before the meeting and to write our testimony on the back of it.  In the meeting each sister stood and shared a favorite part of the document that stood out to them and shared their testimony.  Words cannot express how strong the spirit was in that room.  The love that each of us has for the Savior is wonderful.  I invite everyone to read or re-read this The Living Christ so that you too can come closer to Christ. 

Friday morning Sister Palmer and I had a friendly visitor come to our door as we were on our way out.  His name was Hunter.  Hunter is a beagle!  He was being brought to do a bug inspection in our apartment. (Today we found out we do have bugs. Yikes!)  I took a picture of him and he reminded me of our dog, Lehi. 

We had TC (Teaching Center) in the morning and we called (a man that) Sister Palmer found on chat when the two of us were on exchanges a few days ago.  He is a single dad.  He is very busy and stressed with work.  He owns a car body shop.  One day a couple of ladies brought their car in and gave him a card.  He decided to check it out and chatted with Sister Palmer.  She sent local missionaries to his home and they happened to be the same ladies whose car he fixed.  Go figure! :)  So Friday we called him, and he was in the middle of cooking dinner for his son, but he said we could call him Wednesday (yesterday).  Sister Palmer and I were on exchanges yesterday as well, but she did not get to talk to him because he was meeting with the local missionaries!  Yay! 

Saturday morning Sister Palmer and I went to the DA DI and scored some clothes!  Love free cute clothes! For my workout that morning I did the  French zumba with my roommates.  Daddy would probably get a laugh at it.  It is more dance workout moves than stretches, but it is still a workout.  It is so funny! Our other roommates are from Japan, Madagascar, Brazil and Venezuela.  I love them all!  

We had Zone meeting which was really fun!  We had a lesson on comp unity and the activity was to try and get the smarties into your comp's mouth. hahaha.   

Monday was Explore day!  Explore day is any day we as Temple Square sisters choose to go to the church history sites and take tours and pictures.  Sister Palmer and I went with Sister Taylor and Sister Fraiser.  It was so fun!  We went to the Releif Society building, the COB (Church Office Building) and Welfare Square!  We had lunch at the COB.  Delicious!  While we were getting food I saw a lady wearing a pretty scarf.  I complimented her about it.  She came back to us insisting she pay for her food.  Of course we respectfully declined, but she continued to insist so we allowed her to...I was very grateful for her generosity.
Tuesday we took a tour.  They were three guys, all members.  One of them reported to the MTC (yesterday).  He is going to the Philippines.  He is a convert to the church.  The other two guys were the missionaries that taught him.  One was the first one to teach him and the other was the one to baptize him.  How neat!  I got to do the TAB (tabernacle) pin drop demonstration for the second time.

This morning we got Christ mas training!  I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo  excited for Christmas!  We will also get to see "Savior of the World".  I cannot wait!

Christ does live.  I know that through our faith and obedience to the Lord we will be blessed.  I have already witnessed the Lord's hand in the work.  I know that families can be together for eternity.  The family is a beautiful and precious gift given to each of us.  The temple is the gateway to binding families for eternity.  I believe in miracles.  I know the experiences that I had this week were no mistake and they were not a consequence of anything I have done.  It was the Lord's way of testing my faith, building my character and showing me His love.  I did grow so much from the trials that I had.  I am far from perfect, but through Christ I can do anything.  I believe in a loving Heavenly Father who IS aware of our needs.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

I love you all!
Sister Aquino
Thank you family, Granny Wade and Perry Family!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

How Priveleged I Am to Be Called to Serve the Lord!

On Halloween the Square closed early and the WHOLE mission got to do a temple session together!  We had potato bar for dinner and then headed over to the temple.  I had never been in the Salt Lake temple before.  It was beautiful!  I love being in the temple.  The temple is a place you will always feel the spirit.
Happy Halloween with a yummy potato bar
  Saturday Sister Palmer and I got to do "Explore Day".  This is a time when we can go visit the historic sites so we can learn more about the history to improve our teaching skills.  It is also a time I am allowed to take my camera out and be  "tourist". If you know me, you  know that I brought my camera. :)  We went to the Beehive House and the Conference Center.  Along the way I was trying to think of ways to tie the history to the gospel.  We had a lot of fun!  Later that evening all of the new sister had the chance to go to Walmart to buy food.  Let me tell you this was not a pretty site to see.  Why?  I have never had to shop for my own groceries before.  I have gone grocery shopping, but my mom usually has a list of the specific items she needs and I use her Safeway coupons and discounts.  That's the other thing I have never bought my groceries form Walmart.  I know I'm lame, but adulthood go the better of me.  :) I was worried I would spend all $200.  Guess what my bill was?... about $50.  I know you are all shaking your heads right now.  That's Sister Aquino for you.

Beehive House

Sunday I got to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing!  Oh they sounded beautiful!  I absolutely loved it!  For most of Sunday I am in GS (Guest Services).  Here I schedule tour appointments or give information for anyone who has a question about Temple Square.  My two favorite places to be are out on the Square or GS.
Music and the Spoken Word

Guest Services

 I love my Savior.  I love this work.  I know that through the Atonement all things are possible.  Trials and tribulations will come our way, but if we rely on the Savior for strength He will help us overcome our sorrows and heartache.  I believe the Book of Mormon to be the most correct book.   If read with an open and humbled heart, you will find answers to your questions, worries and fears.  I love the priesthood and I am grateful for how it has blessed my life.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

I love you all!  Have a great week!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

So Happy to be on Temple Square

I cannot believe I am actually here in Temple Square!  Leaving the MTC was hard because of the wonderful memories I had since day one. I miss my companions but I am very happy to be here on the Square doing the Lord's work. The sight of the temple is just breath taking!  Seeing the temple everyday is such a wonderful reminder to me of what this precious life is about.    
Early morning (6am) yesterday, eighteen of us sisters hopped onto an MTC bus and headed over for Salt Lake City Temple Square.  When we arrived we were brought into a theater room where our new name tags were given to us.  (A name tag with the flag of the country we are from.) I was overjoyed to put my new tag on!  I could not believe I was out on the field!  We each got to shake our Mission President's hand.  President and Sister Poulsen are sweet and wonderful people!  Eventually we were assigned our trainer, our new companion.  My companion is Sister Palmer!  She is form northern California as well.  This will be her last transfer.  I love having her as a companion!  She is very patient and loving towards me.  She has taught me how to recognize the Spirit more and how to be obedient to the Lord. She has strengthened my testimony so much since I have been here.  
Look! My new name tag!

My trainer, Sister Palmer

President and Sister Poulsen
The New Sisters on Temple Square

 When we went out onto the Square we met a couple visiting from SF.  We were in the North VC (Visitor Center) by "God's Plan".  They had just watched the Restoration film before coming upstairs.  They said it was very touching.  I asked her why she thought that and she said it was unjust for Joseph Smith to be treated the way he was when he was a harmless man. Then she pointed to the Book of Mormon  I was holding and asked to look at it.  My companion offered to give her a copy and she accepted!  How awesome is that!  They said they had never seen an LDS temple before.  I was surprised, but grateful for the opportunity to share about temples.  We then took them through "God's Plan".  The last clip froze on us, but the spirit was so strong there I don't think it mattered.  Sister Palmer asked me to share my testimony and when I did I felt so happy for this couple and such love for them.  I could tell, especially in the wife's eyes that they felt the Spirit.  We then went downstairs gave them a Book of Mormon and a card for  I invited them to visit the Oakland Temple when they went home and explained that although they cannot go in it they will still feel peace and joy walking on it's grounds.  I hope they will continue to be curious about the gospel!  They were a very nice couple!

On Saturday for VC training I got a contact!  We got to come here to Temple Square for a few hours and were paired up with a sister on the Square.  I was with Sister Hardy.  We met in the South VC and then began our evening walking out on the grounds.  We about to pass by the temple when a man yelled out to us.  He had a couple walking with him and he asked if we could give them a tour.  Oh course!  We didn't even have to go very far to find someone. In fact we didn't even find them, they kind of came to us.   They were from New Zealand and had never been to Utah.  They have been traveling to different states.  He had read some things about the church and so he knew about the Restoration.  We brought them to the TAB (tabernacle)  The recording of the MOTAB (Mormon Tabernacle choir) was finishing up when we got there.  Sister Hardy discussed the history of the building and then she asked me to give a testimony of the prophet.  Next we went to the AH (Assembly Hall).  Sister Hardy shared the history and her testimony and then I explained the importance of going to church.  Going to Church is important because it is the one day of the week that we can take time for ourselves away from our chaotic lives.  We can just focus on the Lord and remember the covenants we made with Him.v  When we place ourselves in this environment we are strengthening our relationship with the Savior and telling Him that we care about Him.  Our last stop was the Christus.  We played the narration for them and I could tell they were really listening to what was being said.  Sister Hardy asked if I wanted to invite them to keep in touch with us.  Once they expressed their feelings I asked them for an email.  I was so happy!  The husband said that he wants to come back and visit because if people like us are very happy with this life style and have so much love for the Savior it must be something worth learning about.  Those weren't his exact words, but that was what I understood.  Since then I have emailed him and haven't gotten a response back yet, but Sister Hardy said she saw them on Sunday at "Music in the Spoken Word".  I still have hope they will email back!

I absolutely love it here!  I am excited so for this mission! I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!  Continue to work hard at missionary work.

Sister Mikeila Aquino